Owned by the Community and Operated by Volunteers
We are registered with the Financial Conduct Authority as a Community Benefit Society. This legal structure is very common for community-owned shops. As the name implies, we exist and operate the business for the benefit of the Gawsworth community. Profits generated from sales and services are re-invested in the business. This ‘social dividend’ enables us to continue and enhance the benefits we provide to the community.
Within this structure, we are subject to the Co-Operatives and Community Benefit Societies Act (2014). This legislation places a number of requirements on us, one of which is that we must have a set of Society Rules. We are required to comply with these Rules at all times, so they are effectively our constitution. You can download them by clicking the adjacent button.
Community Benefit Societies are permitted to sell shares. As explained in the History section of the website, the initial capital to purchase the premises was raised in part through a share offering, and we have continued to sell shares since then as new residents move to the village and want to support the Hub. At 31st Dec 2020 we had 155 shareholders. The Balance Sheet for 2020 can be downloaded by clicking on the adjacent button. We are consistently among the most profitable community shops in the country, according to the annual report produced by the Plunkett Foundation.
All shareholders become Members of the Society and are invited to the Annual General Meeting, normally held in the Village Hall in June each year. Society Members are able to influence and support the operation and development of the Hub at the meeting and also by volunteering in a variety of roles.
Apart from a very small number of paid staff, the entire business is operated by volunteers. Please see the Volunteering and Board pages of the website for more information.
Because we are a Community Benefit Society, we want the membership of the Society to be as representative of the Gawsworth community as possible. New Members are always welcome. If you would like to join us, please download the shareholder application form by clicking the adjacent button.
For more information, please contact the Company Secretary, Gary Davis, by email to Secretary